Cherries in Endive Cups with Stilton Cheese and Pecans

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Cherries in Endive Cups with Stilton Cheese and Pecans

Cherries are having their big moment these past few weeks at the Hollywood farmers market. Look around and you’ll notice they’re in everybody’s ubiquitous burlap bag. I once saw a prominent movie star lick one clean to feed to a toddler. Really! With cherries in such mad abundance, it’s a good idea to let cherries dominate our fruit purchases. Which means of course, whether you’re an A-list actor a C-list food blogger, we all find ourselves elbow-to-elbow scooping cherries into burlap bags this time of year.

While cherries tend to be wheeled out at the end of a meal – cooks love the complex combination of sweet/tart as well as the splash of ruby red eye candy they provide – I  think we should look beyond dessert. When I need a quick, savory appetizer this time of year I reach for cherries. Cherries in Endive Cups with Stilton Cheese and Pecans.

Cherries in Endive Cups

Endive cups are an easy option for hand-held appetizers. The French call appetizers hors d’oeuvre – which means “outside of the work.” Unfortunately, most of them require lots of work. But not Cherries in Endive Cups. They bring a combination of tastes and textures. Even sweet cherries have a tart edge to them, and the combination of their sweet/tart flavor with the juicy texture in Belgian endive combines nicely with creamy, pungent Stilton cheese.

Afterall, cherries are the finest of all fruits and they’ve got the talking points to prove it. When we want to choose the very best we “cherry-pick”. When we accentuate a valid point we “put a cherry on top”. When we acknowledge the great bounty in our lives we say that life is a “bowl” of guess what sweet fruit? GREG

Cherries in Endive Cups with Stilton Cheese and Pecans Cherries and Endive Appetizer

Cherries and Endive Appetizer

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4-6Source Inspired by Greg DentonPublished
Cherries and Endive Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinaiger
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted and sliced sweet or sour cherries
  • 3-4 heads Belgian endive
  • 1 cup lightly toasted pecan halves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions cup
  • 4 ounce crumbled Stilton cheese (about 1-cup)

Directions

Make the cherry vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine mustard, both kinds of vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until well-combined. Fold in the cherry slices and set aside.

Prepare the endive: Working with each endive separately trim off ½-inch from the stem end and letting the outermost leaves fall away. Repeat the process a second time, this time trimming a bit less. You only need 6 or 8 of the largest leaves from each endive for this recipe, save the small interior leaves for another use.

To serve: For a handheld appetizer, arrange the endive leaves In a single layer attractively across a serving platter. Carefully fill the interiors of the leaves with pecans, green onions, and Stilton. Drizzle the cherry vinaigrette on top and all around the endive leaves making sure a couple of cherry slices nestle into each leaf. You can alternatively toss the ingredients together to serve as a salad.

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